Our mission is to nurture and expand an international movement that promotes equality, addresses historic disparities (of race, gender, national origin, age and economics among others) and builds caring community economies through inclusive exchanges of time and talents.
Since its founding in 1995, TimeBanks (originally founded as the Time Dollar Institute) has nurtured a network of communities that use timebanking to value people and the labor that the market does not value in order to strengthen community and enable every human being to realize his or her potential.
Each timebank uses time as a medium of exchange rooted in the five core values set forth below to build networks-for-good in communities. Our premise: break the monopoly of dollar price in defining value and offer the hour, a slice of eternity as an alternative.
In doing so, we have pioneered the use of time credits as a complementary currency. For every hour of help given, a timebank member earns one credit. The idea is simple: I earn a time credit by doing something for you. It doesn’t matter what that “something” is. You in turn earn a time credit doing something for someone else.
Timebanking in this way builds on the magic of “pay it forward,” one good turn leading to another and another and another. Each transaction sends ripples outward that expand networks of support and extend trust. For example, an hour of gardening leads to an hour of child-care which leads in turn to an hour of dentistry to an hour of home repair to an hour of teaching someone to play chess. Transactions birth relationships and relationships birth networks. Timebank exchanges, gatherings, potlucks and projects unleash untapped capacity to address otherwise unmet needs. The collaborative efforts redefine the range of the possible.
Timebanks also call in this way on the shared energies and skills of members to focus on specific social needs, including the social determinants of health, veterans’ issues, education, restorative justice, homelessness and poverty. We provide Community Weaver timebanking software for use by timebank members on mobile phones and computers to support and track their timebank activity and as an organizing tool for timebank leaders.
Each community timebank is self-organized and establishes its own mission and vision. However, all are urged to commit to the five core values spelled out by Edgar Cahn in his 2000 book No More Throw-Away People:
(1) Assets: Everyone has something to offer.
(2) Redefining Work: Building home, family, and community is a necessary, valuable contribution to our shared well-being and should be recognized, honored and rewarded.
(3) Reciprocity: Providing those who receive with the opportunity to give promotes resiliency, builds trust, and expands well-being for all.
(4) Community/Networks: We are stronger together.
(5) Respect: Respect for each person's basic humanity is a human right, and is the foundation for strong timebanking.
For the last two decades, the timebanking movement has been spreading around the world. Increasingly, as the original core hub of timebanking, we have been joined by a number of independent national timebank networks, both small and large. We can only estimate the number of people doing timebanking, but believe it has likely passed the 100,000 mark. On March 23, 2018, TimeBanks spearheaded the first Annual International Timebanking Day, connecting timebanks from the U.S. to the UK, Norway, Spain, New Zealand, Brazil and Korea. In 2020, we will again invite national hubs to celebrate timebanking's growth and the changes for good that it is bringing into people's lives on multiple fronts.
Our mission is to nurture and expand an international movement that promotes equality, addresses historic disparities (of race, gender, national origin, age and economics among others) and builds caring community economies through…